Lu Jin捋劲 is the capacity to absorb/yield to counter an incoming force. Lu Jin requires the Tai Chi practitioner to release all internal resistance to the opponent’s attack. It represents the ‘softness’ in Tai Chi. The movement Lu is combined with the rotation of the waist to redirect the opponent’s momentum resulting in him losing balance.
Lu Jin is used mainly for defense but it can be also used to attack. For attack purposes, the Tai Chi practitioner has make the Lu movement fast, forceful and precise. The advantage of Lu Jin is that it allows an advance Tai Chi practitioner to defeat an opponent with superior strength.
Visualise this: A tall, muscular man lunges his fist at you. When his fist touches your body, you consciously absorb the force of the punch while moving the angle of your body slightly. In that moment, he loses his balance and takes a few seconds to stabilise his centre again. An advance Tai Chi practitioner makes full use of this window of opportunity to counter attack.
Many years of intensive practice and a high level of mental awareness are required to develop Lu Jin. It is the most difficult Jin among all the eight Jin to master.
During push hands (Tui Shou 推手) practice, the hands of an advance Tai Chi practitioner are so soft and relaxed that the opponent cannot guess the next step of action.
Here are a few simple tips on how to improve your Lu Jin in your practice:
Keep your neck and spine straight. The spine is the central axis while the Kua胯 (waist and hips) rotates around it like a wheel.
Coordinate your arms and legs with your Kua. The better the coordination between the hands and the Kua, the Lu Jin becomes more powerful.
Lower your shoulders and elbows. Relax your arms till they provide minimal resistance to an aggressive incoming force.
Let your Chi 气 flow down the spine and into the ground as you absorb your opponent’s force.
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